Freedom Fighters: Otis Rainwater - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/11/08

Freedom Fighters: Otis Rainwater

Otis Rainwater was only seventeen when he joined the Army in 1944. He was in the first wave to land in France for the invasion of Europe June 6,1944. Rainwater was in battle constantly, moving through France, Belgium and the Battle of the Bulge, on into Germany. Whether it was battle fatigue or shell shock, Rainwater developed what he calls the "thousand yard stare. He was sent home with a honorable medical discharge.

As soon as Rainwater arrived in Texas, he joined the Navy and was sent almost immediately to the invasion of Leyte in the Phillipines. He was only eighteen at the time. From there he went to new Guinea and New Britain. In Borneo, Rainwater witnessed one of the worst atrocities of the war. The Japanese had impailed children and women on sharpened limbs. It was a sight that still haunts Rainwater to this day.

Joan Hallmark, Reporting joanhallmark@kltv.com

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